THE UTILIZATION AND EFFECTS OF CHIROPRACTIC CARE DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: A SURVEY OF NORTHEAST CHIROPRACTORS

Main Article Content

Joelle Santiago
Mark Papuga
Joanne Santiago
Alan Post
Mathew DiMond

Keywords

Covid, Survey Research, Telehealth

Abstract

Objective: To describe the guideline adherence, patient care attributes, and financial effects that the COVID -19 pandemic had on Northeast chiropractors’ response and role in providing essential services during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Methods: Northeast-state chiropractic associations disseminated an anonymous online survey consisting of short answer and multiple-choice questions exploring 3 areas of interest: CDC and DPH guideline adherence, the management and effects of patient care, and the financial and practice dynamics due to Covid-19. State associations emailed their respective members with the survey link. Survey responses are included in line with STROBE reporting guidelines.


Results: All states of the Northeast Chiropractic Council participated in the survey. Most chiropractors reported following CDC-DPH guidelines, which included screening, sanitation, and personal protective equipment. Many chiropractors reported prescribing home care to both acute and non-acute patients. Few chiropractors reported patients being diagnosed with lab-confirmed Covid-19 following chiropractic treatment. Few chiropractors reported themselves, an immediate family member, or chiropractic staff testing positive for Covid-19. Respondents reported treating less than half the number of patients they treated on average prior to the pandemic. Less than half of respondents reported seeking financial aid. Risk of bias was moderately low (ROBUST; 6/8) and STROBE checklist items were adequately addressed.


Conclusion: In the Northeast region of the United States of America, overwhelmingly chiropractic physicians followed the CDC-DPH guidelines. Chiropractors provided essential care for their patients, with generally low reports of Covid-19 positive patients or staff. Chiropractor’s financial aid need may be a result of PPE expenses and decreased patient volume. Chiropractors were also able to adapt to telehealth in the management of patient care.

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